I went to Cagayan De Oro City last week. It’s always a pleasure to see this beautiful city and taste its food (especially its prawns that are so darn good). They pretty much have everything that makes it look like a Metro Manila City like Makati. They got the Limketkai Mall and a hotel that is connected to it. Taxis here are mostly Corolla Altis. I also envy their clean river and whenever I see it, I’m just reminded of how our Pasig River is so dead.
The city is becoming more and more the main hub of Northern Mindanao. It’s near Camiguin Island, a place known for its beautiful beaches and sweet lanzones that makes the island shout out: THANK YOU AND CAMIGUIN. Ahahahahaha… sorry, just can’t help myself.
Anyway, it’s a treat going to Mindanao- a place that is literally a land of promise. It has everything. Almost. Its natural resources, excellent food, and the place itself is beautiful. The sad thing about this is that those who haven’t been there are still programmed to think that it is a lawless place, a haven for terrorists, and backwater. Well, I have to agree that there is some truth in it but we are influenced by our perceptions.
I just find it odd that here in Metro Manila, papers are hogged by sensationalized headlines, bombings, kidnappings, hostage dramas, shootings, and all the violent stuff you could think of. And we’re scared of Mindanao(!?). Quezon City is old and dirty. And has more televised crime reports (check out Channel 2 or Channel 7). It’s happening here. It’s also happening there.
Poverty is widespread and seeing our probinsyano immigrants in Manila is just the icing. We went down south to Bukidnon and I got to say that it’s really far (you would have to use your nguso to point the direction) and the terrain was just difficult to cross. We passed through a mountain to visit Malaybalay- a place for recreation, their Baguio (they got pine trees) of the South. We also passed through Valencia, the commercial hub of Bukidnon, before reaching Quezon.
Quezon is a municipality that is far from the national road. We went there to visit one of our salesmen, a good friend who is now running for councilor. And he is…
I am supporting my candidate because I believe in him. His story is a common rags-to-riches one: He started out as a waiter in Iligan City then he became a Grollier’s Encyclopedia salesman and eventually, he became one of our top salesmen in Mindanao. He is now well-off and he wants to go for his dream to “uplift the lives of farmers”. Townspeople know how real his intentions are. There’s a good chance that he might even come out as the topnotcher of votes.
Mindanao should be included and should be on top of the national agenda. The yardstick where I measure the effectiveness of our government is Mindanao. If the national government can’t take care of Mindanao, it is of my “arrogant” opinion that it could take care of its own and truly sever its ties with Manila and make the Philippines an “idea” of unity.
That remains to be seen, however, since there is no man or woman of the hour to completely unify this island. At the back of my head: Duterte or Emano perhaps? Or maybe we would have to wait.